Broadcast Sports, Inc. (BSI) provided mobile radio frequency (wireless) cameras for the recent Quiksilver Pro Surfing Championship in France, including its new remote-controlled, waterproof Pan Tilt Roll Zoom camera.
The elite tour event featured surfers from around the world competing on 4-6m waves and was shown on Eurosport TV and Fox Australia, and broadcast live on the Quiksilverlive.com website - www.quiksilverlive.com/profrance/2012
Because of changing weather and surf conditions, the competition moved along the beach each day in search of the best waves, so BSI put together a package with two RF cameras that could be operated anywhere along the 10km stretch of sandy beach.
It deployed the new, waterproof, wireless PTRZ camera, which was developed for coverage of sailing at the London Olympics, plus a handheld radio camera, with a Land Rover carrying four radio links. The set-up had four feeds with point-to-point links and multiplexers that fired back to a master receive point.
The Land Rover could move up and down the beach, up to 8km away from the media compound, which was producing the live web cast. BSI could send back the radio camera, PTRZ, live feeds from the OB truck and scoring for the competition from any point down the 10km stretch of the beach, without having to move the whole production.
The PTRZ camera was mounted on a pole to get views of the crowd along the beach. Being wireless it could be moved anywhere along the beach and even taken into the changing rooms, where BSI could still receive a signal.
The dome-shaped PTRZ is available as a rental item from BSI, and can also be used for land-based applications that require a particularly robust camera.
Its features include: a 1080i HD camera; 10x optical zoom lens; compact 210mm x 165mm case; and it weighs 2kg.
It pans 360° continuously, tilts through 60° and rolls +/- 30°. These movements and the zoom, red/blue gain, iris, focus, shutter speed, saturation, master gain and master pedestal are all remotely adjustable and the operator can adjust RF parameters and switch from standby to operational mode.
The PTRZ uses COFDM wireless encoding at H.264 MPEG-4 and MPEG 1 Layer II with QPSK and 16QAM modulation and operates at 1.4-1.5 GHz or 2.0- 2.5 GHz. BSI can supply models for other frequencies.
3D camera systems
BSI also has a new 3D wireless camera package designed for live broadcast use. It includes camera control, remote convergence, and return vision to the camera.
It uses low delay encoding, and BSI uses its own dual-stream mini encoder/transmitter, about the size of a cell phone, to carry the left and right signals simultaneously, to ensure both signals remain in synch.
BSI developed its own UHF camera control, allowing an operator to adjust the camera parameters and control convergence between the left and right eyes using the camera manufacturer's control panels, which means that images from the 3D rig can be matched to the images from other cameras on the production.
By David Fox